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text 2019-07-20 05:52
Freebooksy delivers downloads, but that’s it

Last year I blew my book marketing budget on entering writing contests, a total of $305 including entry fees, books and postage.

 

Two good things came out of that experience. One was a positive and insightful review by Judge Number 54 of my novel Abandoned Dreams that I entered in The 26th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. The other was the understanding the entire contest thing was a waste of money, or, to put it another way, it was a lot of money to spend for one review.

 

Though I have no evidence to prove it, I am convinced most, if not all contests are nothing more than revenue generating opportunities for writing platforms, groups and publications. 

 

Aside from the monthly stipend I receive for facilitating creative writing circles, I am determined this year to make more on my writing than I spend. That brings us to my latest novel, The Bird Whisperer, the Mattie Saunders Series Book 3, launched on May 6 of this year.

 

The book was published simultaneously on Draft to Digital, Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing.

 

After five weeks that included giveaways on BookLikes and LibraryThing, an email campaign with a free coupon code sent to 276 people on my email list, and numerous tweets and Facebook postings of a similar nature all I had to show was nineteen free downloads and one four-star review.

 

I changed my strategy, What did I have to lose?

 

I decided to promote The Rocker and the Bird Girl, the first book in the Mattie Saunders series in hopes it might create sales for The Bird Whisperer. I decided to enroll The Rocker and the Bird Girl in KDP Select and coordinate two of the five free days this exclusive listing affords you, and free email blasts with Awesome Gang, PrettyHot and MyBookPlace.

 

June 22 was the day and I assume the free email blasts went out, but nothing happened on Amazon.

 

Since research indicates fiction sales almost always peak within the first two to six weeks of the release the window for The Bird Whisperer was running out. I decided to take a chance and spend some money. I booked The Rocker and the Bird Girl on Freebooksy and coordinated it with the three free days I had left on Kindle Select.

 

The genre I chose was literary, the email would be sent to 123,660 Freebooksy subscribers, and the cost was $60 USD.

 

I held my breath.

 

The day the Freebooksy promotion broke 1,033 free books were downloaded and my author ranking went from 715,187 to 85,209 for All Books; 41,906 for Kindle eBooks; 56,679 for Kindle eBooks Romance; and, 24,882 for Kindle eBooks Romance Contemporary. The following day there were 131 downloads, and 31 on the third day.

 

Giving away books is one thing, but my benchmark for success is, and always will be, sales. As of July 20, 2019, twenty days after the Freebooksy promotion, two copies of The Bird Whisperer had been sold. However, The Rocker and the Bird Girl had picked up one text review and seven ratings with a 4-star average. There may be a few more sales and reviews trickle in over the course of this month but beyond that I wouldn’t attribute them to Freebooksy.

 

With the Freebooksy promotion and expenses such as proof books, books for beta readers and postage I’m in the red $152.15 so far this year. So much for my 2019 goal to make more on my writing than I spend.

 

But then there are still five months to go.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

 

30

 

Author’s Amazon Book Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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text 2019-01-25 06:55
A seriously non-traditional love story - A review of my novella, The Rocker and the Bird Girl -
The Rocker and the Bird Girl - Rod Raglin

The Rocker and the Bird Girl - January 24, 2019

Reviewed By Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

FOUR STARS

 

When Saunders Exotic Bird Sanctuary falls into financial crisis, owner Mattie Saunders realizes that her grandfather’s passion is not necessarily her own. Initially honored to continue her grandfather’s business mainly as a symbol of love to the man who raised her, Mattie wasn’t certain she was the woman for the job. Maybe the sanctuary would be better off in the hands of a commercial developer. She could find forever homes for all the birds in her care and finally make a life of her own. Of course she would have to part with her favorite feathered friends, especially Pickles. As she contemplates this major life move, her life becomes further complicated with a surprise introduction to the infamous reportedly drug-addicted rock star, Bodine. Even if his devotion to his own exotic macaw was sincere, could she trust his promise to clear her debt while being the upstanding citizen he professed to be?

The Rocker and the Bird Girl by Rod Raglin is a seriously non-traditional love story. Written by an environmentalist, the novel not only paints a sweet picture of hearts in tune, but offers respect for the breathtaking gift of the colorful birds of the rainforest. Raglin’s words caution the reader to study the serious consequences of pet adoption, while creating a heart-warming novella that contains just the right amount of romance.

 

A secondary theme to the story is being open to second chances. Rock star Bodine is not the stereotypical stage musician. While his band mates fall victim to the allure of sex and drugs with their rock-n-roll routine, Bodine is proof of not judging a book by its cover.

 

The Rocker and the Bird Girl is Book 1 in the Mattie Saunders Series and is available for $1.00 at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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text 2018-03-19 18:08
Win one of 100 copies of Cold-Blooded - The Mattie Saunders Series Book 2
Cold-Blooded - Rod Raglin

The second book in The Mattie Saunders Series, Cold-Blooded, has just been released and you can enter to win one of 100  free E-Book editions on BookLikes until April 15, 2018.

 

In Book 1, The Rocker and the Bird Girl, you'll meet the heroine, Mattie Saunders, a twenty-something, slightly eccentric loner who loves birds and so far has devoted her relatively short life to the rescue, care and re-homing of exotic ones people keep as pets, like parrots.

 

The sanctuary her grandfather left her is out of funds and in an effort to raise some money so her birds won't be homeless yet again, she reaches out the Bodine, the lead guitarist of the bad-boy rock band Seditious. She's learned Bodine has a pet Macaw and since she assumes he's fabulously wealthy hopes he'll by sympathetic and use some of that wealth to help these precious creatures.

 

Telling you more would be like shooting myself in the foot since I want you to buy the book.

 

In Book 2, Cold Blooded, Mattie receives a call from Liz, an old friend from high school, asking if it's possible to temporarily board some reptiles at Saunders Bird Sanctuary. The Reptile Refuge where Liz volunteers has been closed be police while they investigate a suspicious death that took place on the premises.

 

Mattie's not concerned with the circumstances and sees it as an opportunity to reconnect with Liz as well as help some animals in distress, but she soon discovers it's not just the displaced inhabitants of The Reptile Refuge that are cold blooded.

Cold-Blooded also addresses contemporary issues including love, friendship, family, the rescue and rehabilitation of exotic pets including birds and reptiles, and the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.

 

Links associated with this post;

Link to BookLikes Giveaway http://booklikes.com/giveaways

 

To purchase The Rocker and the Bird Girl, Book 1 in The Mattie Saunders Series as either an E-Book or Paperback go to my Amazon Author Page at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

 

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text 2018-01-04 07:58
My 2017 writing year in review

This is a review of my writing for 2017. You couldn't call it a success, nor could you call it a failure since something would have had to have been achieved in the first place. Get what I'm saying? If you've never been up how can you be down?

 

If you don't, well, that's okay since I write this for myself to put the previous year in perspective.

 

Last year I decided to see what it would be like to take part in public readings and conduct writing seminars. The idea was to raise my profile while at the same time sell my books at these events.

 

It didn't take much to get booked for both, but the experience was not very satisfying, akin to pitching from behind a table you've rented at a flea market. After my initial experiences I didn't look for more opportunities. Sales just aren't that important to me.

 

The only thing I self-published was a novella, The Rocker and the Bird Girl. It began as an experiment on Inkitt to see if a shallow story about a rock star and a young woman who ran a bird sanctuary would be popular with the juvenile readers who populate that site. Unfortunately, or fortunately - I'm not sure which, I was soon having so much fun with this story and became so enamored with my characters (though very few Inkitt followers did) I decided to pull it from that site and self-publish it.

 

Novellas for "New Adults" (protagonist between eighteen and thirty) seem to be trendy likely due to the diminishing attention span of this age group and the fact they're read on cellphones during commutes. Quite unexpectedly I discovered I had a lot of story ideas for this heroine and I could easily expand it into a series. Series, according to the "experts" sell better than stand-alones so what the hell, nothing else is working.

 

Despite a thorough launch for The Rocker and the Bird: listed as a pre-order on Smashwords three weeks in advance of publishing, email ARC copies to my Advance Reading Team, giveaways on Booklikes and Library Thing, two weeks free on Smashwords, free with coupon on my website, and promoted unabashedly on my social media accounts  - it so far has had two reviews and no sales.

 

Undeterred, the second in The Mattie Saunders Series, Cold Blooded, is set to be self-published in March of this year. Here's the blurb:

 

"When a suspicious death at the The Reptile Refuge closes it down, Mattie receives a desperate call from Liz, an old friend from high school, asking if it's possible to temporarily board some reptiles at Saunders Bird Sanctuary. Mattie's not concerned with the circumstances and sees it as an opportunity to reconnect with Liz as well as help some animals in distress.

Unwittingly, Mattie's drawn into a dark intrigue and soon discovers it's not just the displaced inhabitants of The Reptile Refuge that are cold blooded."

 

Still determined to break into traditional publishing I spent the balance of last year polishing the manuscript of East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella and submitting it to Canadian publishers. The list of rejections continues to increase from those publishers gracious enough to send me one.

 

What's ahead?

 

This year, as mentioned, the second in my series will be self-published, the third is already outlined (okay, only in my head, but it's only January 4th) and a first draft will be written, plus I'll continue to work on another full length novel with the working title, The Triumvirate - three exceptional people, one insurmountable challenge. I've already stopped submitting East Van Saturday Night and, once the disappointment abates somewhat will take another look at the entire project.

 

Promotions of my backlist are also a consideration for 2018.

 

Book sales from all sources in 2017 amounted to $174.44. Expenses including book proofs, book orders and postage totaled $253.88. You can draw your own conclusions.

 

Oddly enough I'm optimistic. Why not?

 

Besides, writing for me is its own reward - really.

 

Stand calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

Sites associated with this blog:

https://www.inkitt.com

https://www.smashwords.com

 

My Amazon book page

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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review 2017-07-21 15:04
A fairy tale with mackaws
The Rocker and the Bird Girl - Rod Raglin

Ever read a self-published book and thought: "Wow, I want to read more by this author"? Get this book and you will.

http://nouw.com/cwidmann/dear-mr-raglin-30772959

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